Week 1 Newsletter

Hello there, CS for Teachers Folks!

Congratulations on completing Week 1 of the course. I know that this type of course (online via Pace Commons) as well as the course content are new to many, if not most, of you. So, I thought it important to celebrate this milestone.

Here are some highlights from your work this week.

1. Profiles on Pace Commons. You were asked to set up a profile on Pace Commons this week. Most of you did so. This week, I want to highlight two. Skyler gets a special mention for floating at right angles, despite the pull of gravity, as does Kendall for diving in to his first School of Education course.

2. Adventures with Turtle Blocks. I know that Turtle Blocks was new to most of you, so I appreciate the willingness you brought to the task. Some highlights: Alicia worked to program letters, thinking of her kindergarten students. Suzie created a self-portrait

By the way, I am in the midst of a Saturday STEM program with 4th through 8th graders in White Plains, as a part of the White Plains Youth Bureau's Saturday Academy. The 5th and 6th grade boys have been working on Turtle Blocks, and their task yesterday was to create some works of art with the program. You can see their work here, here, and here.

3. Adventures with Etoys. The DNA of Etoys goes back to the early 1970s, making it one of the oldest programming languages designed for school aged children. Hats off to our music teacher Anthony, who created a matching game with Etoys

4. Reading Responses. You all did a really good job with the reading responses to Papert and Kay (at some point, I will share my own experiences with Alan Kay. It ended up changing my teaching practice entirely). Some highlights to check out: Jacqueline, Carolyn, and Jade.

(Please be sure to check out everyone's work, so you can see what your classmates are up to).

Diving into Week 2. For this coming week, you are going to finish up the work for Unit 1. Some of you have already started (thanks for leading the way!). In next week's newsletter, I will share about a recent interaction I had with Brian Dear.

I am looking forward to a great Week 2. As always, if you need anything, just shout.



    • Alicia Gallagher
      Alicia Gallagher

      I enjoyed diving into Turtle and Etoys again but still find Etoys hard to program. I think my hardest thing is coming up with something to make. I think I have an easier time with Turtle and just find it more user friendly. 

      • Gerald Ardito
        Gerald Ardito


        I appreciated your comments about TurtleBlocks and Etoys. Etoys is a way more powerful program (it can serve as an environment for an application, which is quite something). But it is also far less intuitive and therefore challenging. 

        I once had (via email) a conversation with Alan Kay about Etoys. He thought the best way to have someone learn it would be in a one-to-one mentoring type setting.

      Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2019

      Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2019

      Here is the online home for CS for Teachers at Pace University for Spring 2019.

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